Category: Mystery stories

Monsters margins of the known world

In the eyes of a true Christian chilling image of the beast suggests infinity of the divine imagination.

Monsters margins of the known world

Ancient heritage

Various monsters and monsters are an integral part of medieval cosmography, which dates back to antiquity, where the "other" — a world of barbarians, that is all that is not Greece and Rome. Most of the monsters that are filled medieval maps, all of these one-legged and bryuhogolovye nature's mistakes, oddly enough, the images were not born in damp and moss-covered walls of the monastery, and the beautiful gardens of Hellas.
Of course, medieval cartographers used and the stories of their contemporaries — the pilgrims and travelers returning from long hikes warriors. In this way the cards fell on eastern European characters.

All this information is placed on the map, like concentric rings, rotating around the center of the circle the earth — Jerusalem. And the more of it takes the viewer card, the more he sees her all the monsters. However, between the ancient and medieval their perception lies a significant difference. In antiquity, the strange creatures were considered abnormal curiosities, and in the Middle Ages, they were viewed as one of the wonders of creation.

Whole gallery of monsters in several registers occupy the south side of the majority of the monastery cards. In the far north, where there is a terrible cold, as there are "other people", but in smaller numbers. And monsters in the east, like a map of T-O-type and at zone. On later maps: Ebstorfskoy (Ebstorf Map), Hereford (Hereford Mappa Mundi) and psaltyrnyh maps XIII century — monsters are present throughout the field. On Ebstorfskoy map can count 24 species of "other people" to Hereford in bestiary includes 20 monsters.

Husbands Amazon

Who were these "other people", and whether they were men? Question for the Ages of principle. If this is the people — they should be converted to Christianity — if not, you can destroy when necessary, as any other animals (incidentally, the same question arises with respect to the Indians of America).

Of course, most of the monsters we know nothing except their names and appearance, perhaps kakih-nibud habits. But, as to kinokefalov, people with the dog's head, or pseglavtsev — here is an opportunity to "unravel the ball." Therefore discuss them in detail.

In ancient times kinokefalov placed on the border of Iran and India. But in the Middle Ages, most cartographers moved them north. According to the English historian Ayena Wood (Ian Wood), the reason for this was the story of Christian missionaries faced in the early Middle Ages (before the XI century) with peoples living in Scandinavia. As the archaeological evidence, there was a cult of a dog or wolf. Thus, in the harbor of Hedeby (Denmark) was found a few felt masks VIII century, skilfully reproduce a dog. And Torslunda (Sweden) archaeologists across metal plates on the clothes as wolf-like figures with human legs.

In the Middle Ages, in contrast to ancient times, it was believed that kinokefalami be only men. Children they give birth to Amazon. The boys were pseglavtsami, girls — ordinary people. Wood suggests that the distinction between men and women in Scandinavia indicates the presence of closed male unions, found in almost all primitive peoples. It was believed that the head of these communities is totemic ancestor, in this case — a dog, so all the men of the tribe in the allotted time (war, hunting, rituals) "turns" in dogs. Women were forbidden to do so.

But where in Scandinavia come from Amazon? Probably existed on the Baltic coast tribes, the entire male population in the summer to leave their communities. Similar examples are known in Africa and in America. In our case, the men most likely go to the north of the iron ore or skins of northern animals. Summer, then, was the only time of year when traders from mainland Europe were decided to swim the Baltic Sea. It is possible that their stories and were the basis of the myth of the Amazons in northern Europe.

In kinokefalah not immediately recognized full of people. Thus, in his "Cosmography Istrian Ethics» (Aethici Istrici Cosmographia), dating from the mid-VIII century, tells of his world tour, done in the III century, or in the V-VI centuries. Ethics, in particular, said:

These tongues go bare legs, improve the condition of hair that lubricate them with oil and grease, making them emit a hideous stench. They live in filth, the reserved meat eating unclean quadrupeds — mice, moles and other things. They have no real homes, they use a cloth draped tents in remote places and thickets, swamps and reeds.

The author of the "Cosmographia" in Scandinavia did not happen, and the information, he said, received from the German merchants.

It is curious that in the IX century, the picture changed. Now kinokefaly represent the people, following the "public order". They do not go naked like animals, and the plow and reap, do crafts. This is quite reasonable people, or rather 'monsters that come out of the human race, "as pygmies or giants (the last confirmed human nature in the Bible, we take at least Goliath). In general, with them it is possible to deal with. According to Wood, changing perceptions of pseglavtsah — probably the result of the reduction of cultural distance and, consequently, reduce cultural "filters" between the authors of the descriptions and the subject of their interest. Now about pseglavtsah wrote missionaries preaching on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Apparently, the German merchants relied upon at the time the author of "Cosmographia", to add a lot of Scandinavian legend of his own.

Holy kinokefal

By this time pseglavtsev appears even his heavenly patron — St. Christopher, in the year 250 was martyred in Lycia. Ironically, the original Christopher depicted with the head of a dog. In later legends of this was due to a divine miracle, the perfect prayer to the saint. According to one version, the preacher convinced the way of the Gentiles in the truth of the Christian faith. On the other — Christopher did not want her beauty into temptation girls who listened to his sermons. But in fact, the origin of the legend of St. pesey head was quite different.

One of the first biographies of St. Christopher wrote the German poet and Bishop Walter Speyer (Walther von Speyer, 963-1027), used in relation to your character does not exist in Latin, the word «canineus». Word apparently forced to think about «canis», dog, though most likely it was just the German word for «cananeus», means a native of the "land of Canaan" — a small area on the west bank of the Jordan. This hypothesis is indirectly confirmed by the Book of Numbers (13:34), which states that the land of Canaan — the land of monsters (without specifying which). Accordingly, as Christopher Canaan at birth could not be pseglavtsem.

Over time, the misunderstanding cleared up, but pseglavost Christopher remained just have to explain it in another way, as we have already discussed. The XIII century the Catholic Church has moved away from such extravagant St., returning him to human form. But in Orthodoxy pseglavost Christopher persisted until the XVI century. So far, in some old churches can be found kinokefala image of the saint, but in most cases, his face has been rewritten.

Industry monsters

World created by cartographers, literally "bursting" of monsters and unusual creatures. So, if you believe the Hereford map, north of the Caucasus inhabited Manticore — a monster with a human face and body of a lion. In the area of the Caspian Sea and on to Asia are found monsters like the Minotaur, "suitable for fighting, although mainly used in the military enemy of the human race." In the Egyptian desert depicts a satyr, which is likely to tempt St. Anthony (???????, 251-356), somewhere in Persia live eyed people (manokuli) , gipopody (creatures with horse hooves) and stsiopody — people run fast on a single leg.

Ebstorfskoy on the map "hotbed" monster is in Ethiopia. Lives there "tribe without a language, whose representatives explained nods and gestures"; chetyrehglazye Ethiopia psilly who are not afraid of snake venom, a creature with an even face; some hairy three-handed people living in swamps; ichthyophagous, eating only fish and drinking salty seawater ; some bezrotye beings who "support the existence, breathing in the smell of apples, and if they feel any stench, then die"; amiktiry whose huge front lip covers the entire body … the list could be extended indefinitely. But especially popular trio — panotii, problems and donestry.

Panotiev appearance may serve as many as the prototype of Cheburashka. Ebstorfskoy on the map on the far north-east, they are depicted with huge ears, and they said: "Here live panotii, they have ears so big that they can cover their bodies." First with stories about panotiyah faced soldiers of Alexander the Great ('A?????????????????, 356-323 BC) in India. Many historians believe that the legend of them — the distant echo of the invasion of the Aryans (Indo-Europeans) on the Indian subcontinent in the II millennium BC The fact that the Aryans delayed the ears with heavy earrings. In memory of the indigenous population of India, they have remained — bolsheuhimi.

Problems — being with the person on the stomach. Typically, problems depicted in Ethiopia or at the edge of the Nubian desert. Historians link them with the same tribe, who lived in this area during the Roman Empire. Problems differed cruelty and militancy, bringing a lot of problems the Roman governor of Egypt. It was thought that they were very bloodthirsty and human sacrifices. The myth of bryuhogolovosti entrenched for problems, probably due to the nature of their protective arms — on billboards and chest armor they depicted a human face. From a distance could really feel that the person they are at the abdomen.

Donestry — in his own unique creatures that live on the islands in the Red Sea. Their uniqueness lies in the ability to speak all languages. In the medieval world view is the ability to associate only with the apostles, who were polyglots after the descent of the Holy Spirit. But unlike the apostles, donestry not saved, and ruined people. Their way — is the manifestation of particular medieval mind: everything in the world should have a pair of opposites. From head to waist donestr was ugly. Judging by the miniatures, it was like a mixture of frog and a lion. From the waist to the feet — it's people. Despite its ugliness, donestry were very polite and quickly dispose of his traveler. But as soon as he lost his watch, the monster enough and eat it. Then it used to cry over the long severed head of his victim.

This is my homeland …

Now let's see what the land was inhabited by Russian cartographers who were in the far reaches of the known world.

Since ancient times, the boundary of the civilized world was limited to the east river Tanais, traditionally identified with the Don, and in the north and north-east — a mythical mountain range called the Riphean or Hyperborean mountains, which are located over the kingdom of darkness. Riphean Mountains named because of continued strong winds blowing in these latitudes in Greek "rifen" means "strong blow". Somewhere there lived cursed nations Gog and Magog. Abbon Fleriysky (Abbon de Fleury, ca. 945-1004) in his book "The Life Eadmunda" called Hyperborean mountain "focused world of evil," from which came the wicked Normans, who is the "instrument of the devil", and will come from the people who make up the army of the Antichrist (We, therefore).

And on Ebstorfskoy map in the northern reaches of Scythia (as Europeans called all the land of Don), the ocean is depicted cannibalism, and under him eloquent legend: "It is home to cannibalism, people are very fast because they have legs, like a horse (not here Whether the origins sayings about love Russian to fast driving? — IF). They feed on human flesh and blood. " This confirms the card-planisphere 1448, made Valspergerom Andreas (Andreas Walsperger, 1415 -?). It near «Norgadia» (Novgorod) present an image of a giant ogre, furiously devouring its prey, or the Western missionary compatriots — is unknown.

On the world map in 1550 by French cartographer Pierre Desele (Pierre Desceliers, 1500-1558) in the north-east of Muscovy «Colmogora» (Kholmogory) placed a miniature depicting Russian hunter-trappers (or eschatological warrior of the sort of Gog and Magog?) dressed in skins, with a gun in his hand and pesey muzzle.

Hereford on the map reads:

Riphean Mountains. This region is called Apterofon, where there is eternal cold. For Riphean mountains live in the interior of the caves of the Scythians, and the life they have very severe. Bowls they made to drink from the skulls of their enemies … Scythians love to fight and drink the blood from the wounds of the dead.

Live near Essendonia — people eating their own parents for a celebratory feast, thinking that it's far better than leaving them in the production of worms, people Vulture («Griste»), which "cover themselves and their horses as their skin rugs slain enemies" .

Of the normal flora in the Russian limits on monastic world maps almost does not occur, except on the map Ebstorfskoy near Kiev on the Dnieper nivah grazing wild beast «urus» (round, bison), which can later be found on maps Sigismund Herberstein (Siegmund Freiherr von Herberstein , 1486-1566).

Against this bleak picture is one consolation — Ebstofskoy on the map where the world is the body of Christ, the Russian lands are located directly under the hand of the Savior and the text from the Psalms: "The right hand of the LORD doeth power!" (Psalm 117:16). And no matter how Russia is far from the civilized world, the majority of Western European maps are eastern orientation, and so close to our Hyperborean country, separated from Europe by mountains and border posts, is the boundary of Eden — Earthly Paradise …

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